303 or 308- Which one has more recoil?


February 27, 2007, 06:13 PM
Hi. I'm debating if I should get a 308 enfield. I already have a 303. The only thing that is holding me back is the recoil issue. The 303 I could shoot all day. Is this the case with 308? Thanks for your thoughts. AZHunter12.

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February 27, 2007, 06:25 PM
The .308 has a bit more recoil, but not enough to make a significant difference if you're used to shooting the .303. In an 8-pound rifle, shooting a 180 grain bullet, the .303 has about 15.4 pounds of recoil. In the same weight rifle, same grain bullet, the .308 has about 17.5 pounds of recoil. Muzzle velocity in the .308 is about 200 fps higher--about 2400 for the .303 vs. 2600 for the .308.

Vern Humphrey
February 27, 2007, 06:54 PM
Recoil is a function of momentum -- Mass times Velocity. The .308 will easily drive a 150 grain bullet over 2,800 fps. The .303 is about 100 fps slower with a bullet of the same weight. Therefore, all other things being equal, the .308 will have slightly more recoil than the .303.

February 27, 2007, 07:22 PM
Consider rifle weight and design as well. A heavier rifle will absorb more recoil and a semi auto gas system will use some of the charge's energy to cycle the action.

My .308 Garand has a much lighter kick than my No4 Enfields. I'm pretty sure they weigh about the same, but the semi-auto gas system dampens the recoil a bit. My FALs are relatively pussycats with their adjustable gas systems and hefty weight. Then again, I'm often shooting 180gr. bullets in the Enfield and 150gr bullets in the FALs and Garand.

Enfields in full military trim are heavy rifles. If you buy a modern .308 Sporter (like a Gibbs), it's likely a bit lighter and you will feel the kick a bit more. A No2 Enfield in full trim will feel about the same.

February 27, 2007, 07:29 PM
DMK +1:

There are multiple variables. Besides the projectile weight, and the velocity, one must also consider the powder quantity, and the powder's burn rate. Also, the old 303 may have a metal butt plate. The 303 a Pachmyer. There is the weight, then too, the stock...wood V. synthetic. Synthetic does give a bit. The stock design also contributes or hinders. Look at Weatherby's old research on cast-off. Too many variables though to say just weight / velocity. I read an interesting article many, many years back that talked about how significant powder burn rate is...punch versus push. Power, now that is a different matters...the 308 clearly wins.


hm2 clark
February 27, 2007, 07:34 PM
The simple physics tell us that a .308 will kick harder. But FELT RECOIL is more a function of stock design. Most .308 feel as though they kick less then 303s.

February 27, 2007, 08:41 PM
I really can't tell much difference between the two.

February 27, 2007, 10:50 PM


February 27, 2007, 11:41 PM
I own and shoot Enfields too include a Gibbs in 45-70 which is built on a #1 MK3. I have yet to shoot the Ishapore 2A1. But as the other folks have been saying, the 308 will have a bit more recoil. But I do not believe that it would be much more than a 303 or at least feel much more. And if you can shoot your 303 all day, then I do not believe you will have a problem with the 308.
I'd like to suggest you get it, try it and if you don't like it you can sell it for what you have in it.

February 28, 2007, 12:05 AM
The recoil difference between cartridges with under 200fps difference will be minimal provided bullet weights are similar. As mentioned before stock fit is absolutely huge to comfort, but the .308 Win is a reasonable cartridge all around. Where things start to get painful in general seems to revolve around the "magnum" moniker and/ or calibers above .33 if that helps any.

February 28, 2007, 09:46 AM
The buttstock on the Ishapore 2a/2a1 is shaped a little different and the buttplate has more surface area than the one on a No1 Mk3... perceived recoil is pretty much the same on both.

Essex County
February 28, 2007, 01:08 PM
Shooting offhand they are pretty much same-same to me. Essex

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